Country Cat Lady (CCL), a 501(c)3 non-profit run entirely by volunteers, is focused on the health and wellbeing of both cats and humans in our community - Spreading Love One Purr at a Time. While CCL was started with the intent to pull animals from local shelters, we quickly learned that the need was much grassroots. There are limited services in West Michigan to assist our target population (young kittens & pregnant/nursing moms) and COVID created an even larger void. Therefore we have shifted to work with residents of West Michigan, intaking both pregnant and nursing mama’s and many orphaned kittens.
Our primary focus is rescuing kittens under 16 weeks of age, which are hand raised to be working therapy and emotional support cats. Cats interested in therapy (we never force a cat to participate if they are uninterested or uncomfortable) work to support the mental health of our Community and Clients, which are of all ages and abilities – both at our wheel-chair accessible center and out in the community (nursing homes, schools, read with a cat library programs, etc.). Cats who are uninterested are available for adoption, either as Emotional Support Animals (ESA) or just another loved member of the family. As a no-kill shelter, our cats have a home with us until one of their very own comes along, and are fixed, tested, and vaccinated upon adoption. To date CCL has adopted out over 100 cats to wonderful forever homes!
With the advent of COVID, CCL has begun working hard to place Emotional Support Cats into homes with individuals who would benefit emotionally from having an animal companion. ESA cats are outgoing, cuddly, friendly, and sweet. They aren’t afraid of change, and know just when their human needs a snuggle; they are a reassuring presence in daily life. We do not list individual ESA cats for adoption, rather have a room of cats who’s personality and training fit the parameters of an ESA and let the client and cat choose one another. Cats know their people, and we have seen extremely shy cats turn into total love bugs when the right human comes along.
In addition to our emphasis on spaying/neutering our adoptable cats, we are now also beginning to provide Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) services. TNR is the only humane way to manage community cats, and improves their health and wellbeing. Fixing can increase lifespan, reduce the risk of diseases and cancers, improve behavior issues (spraying/aggression), and reduces overpopulation thereby creating a healthier colony. By fixing the ferals we intake (pregnant/nursing mamas or others in the colonies where our cats originate) we are increasing their chances of survival and also reducing local populations through TNR efforts.
Our goal is to NEVER CHARGE our clients or individuals we intake cats from for our services, so we depend on donations and sponsorship from the community. If you’re interested in learning more about our facility, scheduling a visit, sponsorship, or adopting one of our cats – shoot us an email at: [email protected]